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Vintage or modern

Old 02-09-21, 05:43 AM
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Vintage or modern

Which one would you choose to tour on? In particular, coast to coast. I own both, but was curious what the majority of people would choose. Iíve changed the Cannondales inner chainring to a 24t.






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Old 02-09-21, 05:57 AM
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Which one fits you best, which do you like more?
all things being equal, I’d probably pick the Surly, just because of the brakes.

but I would take the one I enjoyed the best.
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Old 02-09-21, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by jr59 View Post
Which one fits you best, which do you like more?
all things being equal, Iíd probably pick the Surly, just because of the brakes.

but I would take the one I enjoyed the best.
haha! my first thought was I'd pick the Cannondale because of the rim brakes!
I have no bikes with disc brakes, so I am still in the mindset I'd rather deal with rim brakes if I have a problem.
- so there's my vote: rim brakes ~ but whichever is more comfortable should be the way to go.
Riding across the whole country is going to take a while..... unless you're Lael Wilcox, of course....
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Old 02-09-21, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by mrv View Post
haha! my first thought was I'd pick the Cannondale because of the rim brakes!
I have no bikes with disc brakes, so I am still in the mindset I'd rather deal with rim brakes if I have a problem.
- so there's my vote: rim brakes ~ but whichever is more comfortable should be the way to go.
Riding across the whole country is going to take a while..... unless you're Lael Wilcox, of course....
i understand this completely! And that was my first thought as well, until I remembered going down a mountain pass in the pouring rain with a loaded bike, with good canti brakes. Not all that much fun at the time. Now itís a great story, but honestly, at the time it was 100% less fun than the normal get soaked riding you become use to on tour. The disc brakes would help this somewhat. Plus in todayís world, itís not hard to find stuff/help with discs out on the road.
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Old 02-09-21, 06:39 AM
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They both fit great and both are equally a joy to ride.
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Old 02-09-21, 07:34 AM
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The Cannondale looks more fun but there is definitely something to be said for the disc brakes on the Surly.

It would be a shame to break those gold sks fenders though.
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Old 02-09-21, 08:21 AM
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On principle I would look at the logistics of replacing all the consumables. Do you have some one who can express mail you a box with tools and a new 7 speed freehub for the Cannondale? Thats the only bit of unobtanium I'm seeing on that bike. Personally I'm not a small person, so the Disk Trucker might be a more practical as it can run bigger tires with more fender clearance. I don't have much disk brake experience, but if you are comfortable riding a loaded bike down hill at terminal velocity, disks might be a good idea. That said my next touring bike project is a 1995 Cannondale T700 with 35mm tires. I'm not heading across the country any time soon though.
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Old 02-09-21, 08:29 AM
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Sloar, do you really need our strangers opinions?
what are your thoughts on why one would be better than the other?
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Old 02-09-21, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
Sloar, do you really need our strangers opinions?
what are your thoughts on why one would be better than the other?
My decision wonít be made by opinions. I was just curious what others would pick. Iíve seen a few similar posts on vintage touring bikes and thought it would be an interesting thread.
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Old 02-09-21, 08:52 AM
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gotcha, well as someone who has toured on this era of bike, I'm clearly in the "take the newer bike" camp.
Now, the Cdale wont have the more flexy nature of the steel bikes of that era, which is great, but for me the kicker is just having better gearing--more speeds, and the 48/36/26 crankset is just so much more versatile, especially the 36 mid ring and 26 combo, which after a gazillion shifts and ups and downs and all that, will be appreciated a lot more than the 50/42 or whatever I somewhat remember is on the cdale.

brakes, once you've got the discs figured out for all the little niggly stuff and are competent with dealing with the niggles, discs are great, although not a deal breaker--but again, as someone who has toured with both, you do get mightily used to the easier and faster stopping power of discs. I'd just recommend screwing around with them as much as possible to be sure you really are comfortable with dealing with possible niggles , like rub, and or the possibility of changing pads.
Basically, getting caliper alignment down pat (once done properly it should be done for good) and being careful / attentive to qr wheel placement, as well as pad / rotor distance adjustment. I can go 6,7000 kms on a set of pads if in good conditions I reckon, and have rarely had to do small pad adjustments during a trip, but your mileage will vary--the main thing is to be comfortable with the new set of tricks to learn with discs, thats all.

are you thinking of a trip this year?

and yes, the cdale is still one pretty bike.
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Old 02-09-21, 08:54 AM
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Small weekend and week long trips, nothing major. I'm getting close to retirement and my goal of a coast to coast trip.
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Old 02-09-21, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by sloar View Post
Small weekend and week long trips, nothing major. I'm getting close to retirement and my goal of a coast to coast trip.
for this, I would take the C-dale, at least for the weekend, providing no big mountains. Just for the way it looks.
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Old 02-09-21, 09:33 AM
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Re: Discs

I've slowly come to appreciate them but don't see them as a deal breaker either.
Recently I upgraded some cantis to V's and added a compressionless housing for the rear cable. The stopping power of those is quite amazing.
What does bug me about rim brakes is the wear they do to the wheel. For cheaper stock rims it's no biggy as you can easily buy another but if I were building an expensive set with maybe a dynohub or something, I'd seriously consider disc just to preserve the wheel.

I chose the Cannondale just because of the looks. What I find odd though is that you have two of exactly the same kind of touring bike.. almost identical except for the brakes. I have several bikes I can tour with but each fills a different niche. How did that happen?

Ps. Nice bikes
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Old 02-09-21, 09:55 AM
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The best bike is the bike that fits best, but you already said they both do.

I think that Koolstop Salmon pads are the go-to pad for rim brakes. Based on that, I would score both bikes equal on the braking if you had those pads, however I will say that in rain the disc brakes would be better.

Is that a Tubus on the Surly? I would use the Tubus on the bike you use.

Gearing, I have an extreme preference for indexed rear derailleur gearing, thus I would not favor the Cannondale gearing.

But, I had a bad experience with Surly, they refused to warranty my defective frame which I eventually put in the metal recycling bin. Thus I would never suggest a Surly to anyone for any purpose.

I have not ridden an aluminum touring frame that is loaded down, thus with that experience lacking, I would be hesitant to recommend it. That said, a friend of mine has crossed USA three times coast to coast on the same Cannondale, he also rode from Canada border to Mexico border on his too. He replaced lots of components over the years but those components would likely have been replaced on either bike. I have done two week-long tours with him and he always seemed to be quite happy with it.

Looks like the Cannondale allows a bigger bottle cage below the downtube.

I can't tell if that is a cassette or freewheel rear hub on the Cannondale. For that long a tour, I would want a freehub type of hub. A friend of mine had a Cannondale touring bike that was freewheel, he broke the rear axle.

Not sure what vintage the Cannondale is, but if any bearings are cup and cone, I would want them re-greased first. It would not hurt to do that on the Surly hubs either.

All else being equal, those are my thoughts, choose whichever you want. Have a good trip.
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Old 02-09-21, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Re: Discs

I've slowly come to appreciate them but don't see them as a deal breaker either.
Recently I upgraded some cantis to V's and added a compressionless housing for the rear cable. The stopping power of those is quite amazing.
What does bug me about rim brakes is the wear they do to the wheel. For cheaper stock rims it's no biggy as you can easily buy another but if I were building an expensive set with maybe a dynohub or something, I'd seriously consider disc just to preserve the wheel.

I chose the Cannondale just because of the looks. What I find odd though is that you have two of exactly the same kind of touring bike.. almost identical except for the brakes. I have several bikes I can tour with but each fills a different niche. How did that happen?

Ps. Nice bikes

Already had the Surly, but Iíve been looking for a ST1000 forever. One popped up locally and I jumped. They are both set up that works for me.
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Old 02-09-21, 10:18 AM
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Man with two watches never knows what time it is.

Take a hard look at your needs for a touring bike. Why did you jump at the opportunity to own the Cannondale? In the end, you'll only need one of them. If you were to choose, and then sell the other, then you wouldn't have to decide any longer...

I can see having two racing bikes. Or having two nearly identical commuting bikes. Two is one, and one is none, and all that.

But tourers are a bit different, aren't they? Not terrifically inspiring to ride, they get a particular job done. Why have two of those?
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Old 02-09-21, 10:31 AM
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Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children

sure looks like Army water bottles
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Old 02-09-21, 10:34 AM
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I’d use the Cannondale but I’d update the Cannondale to at least a 9 speed. I’d also change out the crank to a mountain bike triple with at least a 22 tooth inner but, to be fair, I’d do the same on the Surly. The stiffness of the aluminum frame makes for a more stable, better handling bike with a load.

As for brakes, I haven’t found it to matter. How the brakes are used is far more important than what the brakes are. I, like jr59, have come off a mountain pass (New Found Gap in North Carolina) in a pouring rain. I hit 55mph in one spot and was over 45mph during most of the downhill. I had cantilevers and never once thought that my brakes were going to fail to slow or stop me. I know to get off the back of the saddle when braking. I also know that braking is going to be compromised in rain and I plan accordingly. I would do the same if I had disc brakes because braking isn’t limited by the mechanism but by the friction between the road and the tire.
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Old 02-09-21, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
Man with two watches never knows what time it is.

Take a hard look at your needs for a touring bike. Why did you jump at the opportunity to own the Cannondale? In the end, you'll only need one of them. If you were to choose, and then sell the other, then you wouldn't have to decide any longer...

I can see having two racing bikes. Or having two nearly identical commuting bikes. Two is one, and one is none, and all that.

But tourers are a bit different, aren't they? Not terrifically inspiring to ride, they get a particular job done. Why have two of those?
I can't speak for the OP, but I have three touring bikes.

A heavy duty one that will carry a heavier load than you could imagine with a Rohloff hub and S&S couplers. Great for an extended tour where you need to carry a couple weeks of food or a lot of water. Frame is rated for 60 kg of weight not counting the weight of the rider. Can take 57mm wide tires, a heavy bike but it is solidly built for the purpose.

A medium duty touring bike that can take up to 50mm wide tires, I have used it for both gravel trails and pavement tours. Frame is rated for 30 kg of weight, not counting the weight of the rider.

And a Titanium bike with steel fork that can take up to 37mm wide tires. I consider this my light touring bike, but I have toured with a four-pannier setup on it too. For a lighter load, this is the go-to bike.

I can't see needing more than one race bike, but I own zero racing bikes. But I do own a steel frame road bike with 28mm wide tires which maybe some would have called a racing bike before carbon frames became a thing. I suppose if you had a time trial or triathlon bike and a carbon road bike, you could say that you have a reason for two racing bikes.
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Old 02-09-21, 12:53 PM
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aw heck, its just an old touring bike, its not like he bought another Porsche 911 so he can have a black and a white one.
Lets face it, like myself he probably always thought back in the day that the Cdale touring bikes were the cats pajamas or the bees knees , and he just couldnt resist buying this original beauty with the goofy twist shifters.
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Old 02-09-21, 01:04 PM
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I rode a vintage bike--an '83 Trek 720--when I did my cross country and it was more than fine for the ride.

That said I'd take the Surly for 2 reasons. Everything else being equal, I'd take the bike that can take a larger volume tire. You're not going that fast when touring (as compared to regular road riding) and larger tires make the ride more comfortable. Plus it will be easier to ride on gravel or bad surfaces.

Tire availability is not what it once was. I had a hard time finding a 700 x 32c replacment tire in North Dakota and more or less nursed the bike with a sidewall cut across the state until I found a large enough shop in Fargo. By the way, I had carried a spare tire but I got a bad cut in MT and had to use the spare. I was unable to find a replacement in MT and then got a decent cut in ND but I booted the tire and rode it that way until I hit Fargo.

To my mind, the choice boils down to tires. Everything else can be made to work just fine for your trip.

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Old 02-09-21, 01:49 PM
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Between those 2 bikes in their current setups, I would pick the Surly for someone.
Surly has wider tire capacity, indexed rear shifting, and evenly spaced triple up front. All those are benefits in my eyes.


I personally would want a bike with 700c wheels, but thats just based on my frame size and aesthetic. I would probably take the Cdale and add indexed shifting and an evenly spaced crank. That would get me to 90% of perfect.
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Old 02-09-21, 04:03 PM
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All else being equal, Iíd ride the Cannondale because it has a front rack. And it looks better.
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Old 02-09-21, 07:11 PM
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Does the LHT have 26 inch wheels ? If so, I'll take the Dale with a few tweeks.
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Old 02-09-21, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by robow View Post
Does the LHT have 26 inch wheels ? If so, I'll take the Dale with a few tweeks.

26Ē wheels.
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